Daily Archives: September 16, 2013

I’m Not an Addict (Maybe That’s a Lie)

K’s Choice – Not an Addict

I spent all day yesterday knitting, and it was rather glorious. Making myself do this weekly crafting post is a great boot in the butt to encourage me to work hard on developing my skills and completing projects, so definitely hooray for that.


Small practice pieces.


The backs aren’t supposed to be this sort of sloppy.

Yesterday’s specific thing was learning the art of intarsia. Intarsia is basically doing another colour within the main colour, but you’re not supposed to overlap on the back. Which ended up with me having to ask my extraordinarily talented knitting pattern designing friend Miriam Felton about the actual production of intarsia. The pattern for this start in my book called for only three skeins of wool. As you can make out from the back sides, that doesn’t make for the tidiest knitting. She conceded it’s fine to ‘cheat’ that way over say, seven or less stitches, but that it did boil down to needing at least five skeins of wool.

All the skeins!

All the skeins!

So I looked at the pattern, and took a deep breath, and dived in. I was really happy that I made a point to do some quick practicing, ’cause the whole twisting wool around each other to make sure the sections of colour interlock smoothly is sort of important. I also made a point to number my impromptu bobbins to help me keep my skeins a bit better organized. Even with the practice, it was a bit unnerving at the start, but by the time I finished the section, I felt that I had a pretty good grasp of the method and results. It doesn’t mean I’m likely to start going ga-ga for colourwork, but it’s certainly less intimidating now.





The back with the strands not woven in. Pretty tidy, non?

So yes, I’m well pleased with my progress, and to have the basics of yet another part of the knitting thing figured out. I think it’s coming along a lot faster now that I’m a bit stuck into it. That is to say — new techniques are less scary because it all builds in a very basic and solid foundation. Crochet, on the other hand, can be a bit more flowery and confusing. I’m certainly not against crochet and will probably pick up work on my blanket in the near future, but the combination of a good solid foundation and the versatility within that basic foundation are both widely appealing things.

Beyond that, I’m still waiting to come to. I have a sneaking suspicion that I could get up at 5 in the morning, and I’d still not feel human until after noon. I’m sort of alive right now, though my hands are still a bit like arthritic claws wearing boxing gloves. I hope they unfurl soonish — I’d like to pick my knitting back up! It’s not pain, per se, just stiffness. I’m a total baby about anything that makes my hands less than efficient; I like doing things too much to be anything but vexed when they’re not up to the tasks I wish to accomplish.

For now, I shall seek more caffeine, and hope that it being past noon means brain and body will move into some form of functional. I hope everyone out there is having a good day.


The post I’m Not an Addict (Maybe That’s a Lie) appeared first on The Scarlet B.


There’s no way to explain how lonely life can be when you have bipolar. Some days I love being around people and want to accomplish so many things. Then there are the times when you isolate, tuck away into your cocoon and shut off. Obviously this makes it pretty impossible to have healthy relationships or friendships. People just don’t understand how your mood can change so quickly.

I’ve had friends offer to get together with me for dinner, concerts and I make up an excuse as to why I can’t go. This makes me two things: 1) a liar and 2) a crappy friend. This particular depressive portion has been pretty bad. I’m still in the beginning part of my medication therapy, so my moods are still all over the place. I also haven’t figured out my triggers or when exactly I’m having a manic episode. I just know I suddenly want to do/eat/make everything and only need an hour of sleep. Then, just as suddenly, I want to sleep for days, I don’t wear makeup or do much with my appearance and often don’t speak. 

I’m taking a bold step tomorrow and attending a ladies group at the church I belong to. I will not allow myself to make up an excuse as to why I can’t go. Is it going to be perfect? probably not. I’ll most likely fumble for words, feel like I’m not “holy enough” to be in a church community and think of the 5000 ways I feel like I don’t measure up. But I’ll still go, I’ll still make the attempt and see how it goes. 

The depression and anxiety can be paralyzing. Second guessing myself and beating myself up gets exhausting. This disorder is all-encompassing and trying to rise above it is a full time job. But I have to keep trying. My renewed faith in God is certainly helping, knowing there is someone who always has my back, no matter how aggravating I am, is encouraging. 

I know there will be light again, I just have to make it through a particularly long dark night. But I will get there.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: bipolar, depression, faith, loneliness, wellness

Public Displays of Affection


The following events took place during the first half of 2013:


Nick Porto and Kevin Atkins were walking along the street in New York, hand in hand, when several men clad in identical basketball vests shouted at them from behind, knocked them to the ground and beat them, while passersby took photos and video on their phone.


Also in New York, 32-year-old Mark Carson was walking with a companion in lower Manhattan early Saturday morning. A man trailed and taunted the men, yelling antigay slurs and asking one of them, “You want to die tonight?,”  Authorities said the man used a silver revolver and killed Carson by shooting him in the face at point blank range.


A 22-year-old Mississippi man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of an openly gay candidate for mayor of Clarksdale, Miss.  The body of Marco McMillian, 34, was found near a Mississippi River levee 10 miles from Clarksdale.


22-year-old Victor Diego, who identifies as both gay and transgender, was attacked May 30 while leaving work in Hollywood. Diego sustained two fractured ribs, a shattered cheekbone and a broken jaw after being jumped by a group of men.


In Atlanta, a 20 year-old gay man was attacked while leaving a grocery store.. The man was punched in the head and was pushed to the ground. Two men and a juvenile surrounded the victim and repeatedly punched and kicked him while the group yelled anti-gay epithets.  One if the men picked up a tire and struck the victim with it. The group also stole the victim’s cell phone. A fourth person, also with the defendants, recorded the assault using a cell phone. The video footage was posted to the Internet.


In Seattle, Jason Jacobs was walking through Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood shortly after midnight  when he was approached by three men and two women who began taunting him with anti-gay epithets.  The altercation apparently occurred after the group noticed his pink shirt and shoes. The group is then said to have chased Jacobs, 37, down the street before attacking him, leaving him with a broken nose and cuts to his face and knees, according to the report.


This is a picture of Maurice and I kissing after we exchanged wedding vows.  It was a magical day for both of us.  We had a small ceremony conducted by our minister and two great friends were our witnesses.  Our church is a safe haven.  We can openly kiss, hug, put our arms around each other and hold hands.  Sadly, we have only a few safe havens.

Sure, there’s always West Hollywood, San Francisco’s Castro District, Miami’s South Beach, Provincetown Mass, or one the other gay meccas throughout the USA, but we’re not interested.  We enjoy the diversity where we are and prefer to stay in the suburbs.  We don’t want to move, nor, should we have to.  In addition, individuals have purposely stalked gay villages to find easy targets for their hate crimes.

Someday, those who are LGBT may be able to live without fear showing public displays of affection.  I doubt we’ll see it in my lifetime.  On the other hand, I didn’t believe we’d see marriage equality in my lifetime, and look at what’s happening throughout the U.S. and the world, so maybe I’m wrong.  I hope I am.




the next morning, my feelings had followed my behaviors and i felt okay.  besides, we were going to see old ruins, an activity of which i am a big fan, so i woke with excited anticipation.

the day began early.  we were to meet downstairs at 7am to get on the road because it was an hour and a half drive.  i should have known better by then, but i still felt frustrated when we didn’t leave until 9:30.

the feeling only grew when, after an hour and a half passed and we were still driving without an apparent destination, i realized we were lost.  the mexicans hadn’t prepared.  they hadn’t looked up directions, but just kind of proceeded on distant memories, driving in the general direction of the pyramids.  we stopped, asked for directions, and turned around several times.  two hours passed, and then three.  linda and i gave each other exasperated looks.  another day, wasted.

finally we arrived.  i let the frustration go, replaced by my earlier feelings of excited anticipation.  you could see pyramids in the distance, and we got to choose which one to visit first.  we chose the one with paintings still visible and parked.  getting out of the van, and not having to face teaching, the failed execution of my meticulously planned curriculum, or abused women was like a breath of fresh air.  everyone seemed released from the burden of the week’s activities.  my advisor was jolly even.

i borrowed thor’s camera and took to documenting our trip.  i took the liberty of occasionally walking away from the group to capture the ruins, climbing up pyramids or walking off the beaten path to get a new angle, or to take a detail shot of the construction.  we walked around for about two hours, in and out of pyramids, through cavernous rooms with stone carvings and painted walls.  those that had been preserved were spectacular in their rich colors and designs.  then thor asked if we were hungry at all, which, of course we were because it’d been a long morning and breakfast was at 7am.  he suggested stopping to eat somewhere quick, or getting a quick snack like ice cream and then continuing on to the next pyramid.

the mexicans had other ideas.

we loaded back into the van and drove around for 30 minutes, passing several restaurants.  i wasn’t sure what criteria they were using to make a decision, so i just waited to see.  finally we pulled into an empty restaurant.  not really a good sign, but they seemed to be okay with it.  we sat down.  i ordered a shot of tequila and another cocktail.  because fuck. yes.

the food came.  it was hit or miss.  then, a huge platter arrived with little bowls on it.  linda looked at it with disgust and pushed away her plate.  i wasn’t sure what the big deal was so i peered into the little bowls.

the little bowls were filled with insects.  some of them might have even been moving but i don’t really remember.

one of the mexicans took a tortilla and dumped a little pile of insects on it.  he might have added some lettuce and salsa.  then he rolled it up and took a huge bite.  my stomach turned.  i drank my tequila.

thor told me to try it.  i said no, but by the end of my *next* shot of tequila, i was ready.  there were three puny little insects in the bowl.  i picked out a medium sized one and put it on my tongue while thor took a picture.  linda scooted her chair away from me in revulsion.  i took the plunge and pulled my tongue into my mouth.  the little insect rolled around a little before i ground it in my teeth.  the shell disintegrated with a small crunch.  it tasted a little like barbequed chicken.  i smiled and put my arms in the victory position while thor took another picture.

by the time the meal had ended, it started to rain.  we tried to go to another pyramid but it had closed.  it was the end of the day already.  we’d spent 2 hours waiting and 3 hours driving to spend two hours at an actual pyramid and another 1 or 2 hours sitting at a restaurant.  we had to head back to our hotel.

the next day, we were to leave to our next mexican destination: hermosillo.  i was SO happy to be leaving mexico city, to leave the dirt, grime, dejection, pain, and frustration behind.  i teased linda, who for some unexplainable reason had chosen a flight that left at 6am, and would have to wake up at 3:30am to get to the airport.  meanwhile, i relaxed in PJs, packed in leisure and spent the evening watching netflix and playing candy crush.  we’d made it!  in hermosillo, we would be staying in a lovely hotel, with a pool and exercise room and good food.  the city was nice, clean, and relatively similar to where we lived in the states.  it was going to be a vacation, compared to the last week.  i fell asleep peacefully, ready to turn the page and escape mexico city.

little did i know…that mexico city wouldn’t let us go so easily…